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Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Guarantees: Eagle Times subsidy is wrong

The Union Leader comes out against the New Hampshire government backing a loan for a local newspaper.
One is the Eagle Times, the Claremont newspaper that folded earlier this year only to be reborn under a new publisher. The council agreed -- unanimously -- to have the state guarantee 75 percent of a $250,000 line of credit to the publisher. That's $181,500 for which taxpayers are on the hook if the paper goes out of business again.

This is an outrageous risk of taxpayer money.

You will get no argument from us about newspapers' value to a republic. But the civic services journalists perform are beside the point. A newspaper is a private enterprise. The state's duty is to spend taxpayer money on legitimate public services that only the state can provide. Bankrolling a business -- any business -- is not one of those functions.

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